Wednesday, June 27, 2007

when old meets young...


Well it all started with my and Yshesha visit to old age home (Anandaashram)... and then Reema's idea that why dont we have some sort of combined thing between orphanges and old age homes... and then pritesh on his bday introduced us to this wonderful school for street children called Annanya.... and the final thing when Shashi aunty (who runs Annanya, will write about her sometime really an inspiring story) was all enthu about it.

So we set on mission to get old people and kids together. After running around here and there to get the necessary permissions, last saturday we were finally all ready to go.

There are about 26 inmates of Anand Aashram. Most of them above 70, they have been living there for varied of reasons. (Am not going to write their stories here, some of them are really depressing, and further to do any justice to that there has to be one full blog post on that.) So at 10 in morning we reached there with the army of nine kids. And we were not sure what we going to do there. We did not organize any games, any music nothing. Just went there and then asked the kids that they have to go and talk to atleast one inmate for one hour and then come back. And thats it kids were on the job, some in chairs in corridor, some in dining hall, some in their quarters, talking, interacting, smiling. I dont want to write more about this, I think the following picture tells the story better. (Picture Courtesy Alice)

At the end we asked the kids if they would want to come back to this place and the answer was YES in unison. And as to why they wanted to come here, they have variety of ideas...

"We want to take them out for a walk"
"We want to sit and do drawing together"
"We want to come and study"

So I hope the enthusiasm does not end here... Finally we want to make it a weekly affair, every saturday we want kids to go to Anandaashram and spend time there. We also thinking that once kids get more used to the people there and develop some kind of rapport, we would try to do specific activities like teaching, drawing and so on. Well things are not this flowery flowery also, some of the people there are really depressed, and I guess it would take quite a task to get them out of their shell. So I guess still there are lots of things to do and lot to learn.

But we do think that this kind of interaction would be beneficial for both kids and the inmates of the old age home. Atleast last saturday we felt like that. So will see how it goes...

Thanks to all who made it happen, starting from Shashi Aunty, Pritesh, Alice, Maddy, Manish, Ananwita, Dhruv and to everyone else whose names I could not mention here.

I do hope that the enthu does not die...

This is just the beginning....

PS: We have asked all the kids to write an essay on what they saw and what they perceived. So will post that.
PS: somehow I managed to delete this post and I dont know how.. and am reposting it again... and I lost the comments... :(

Friday, June 22, 2007

GK Vale... Customer Service SUCKS

"A time when Maharajas and Viceroys ruled over us.
A time when hand-painted portraits were still the norm.
A time when photography was still in its infancy. "

Sounds familiar?? Yes this are the marketing lines of the famous GK Vale, the photo studio in Bangy. They also have this one other line "We were here before MK Gandhi became Mahatma Gandhi".

So one of this days, I also had the privilege of walking in to this great great store, as I wanted the photograph for my new ID card. And I needed the photo urgently. After all the shooting-footing of my photo done, I told him that I am in hurry, and it would be great if he could give me soft copy of the photo, I did not want the CD and all that jazz. And he refused point blank.

He was standing there jobless, he had digi cam with usb interface , he had a usb cable, I had a laptop, all that was required was to connect it. But No. In spite of all the arguments and requests he did not budge.

Maybe it is one of the written rules that they should not give soft copies to customers, though I dont understand the logic of this rule. But it was complete indifference that bothered me. It was like I don't care a shit about you. He almost said "If you want come after two hours and take your photographs, else F*&% Off"

Am not going to walk in to that store again. (Ofcourse I had to walk in one last time to collect my photographs, on top of that I dont like that photograph as well. )

I wanted to write this because one I got very irritated and second I wanted everyone to know about it. I do also hope that some kin of GK Vale should also read about this and he should wake up and do something about customer service.

I think next time am going to take a video on my mobile and post it on YouTube.. :D


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Once upon a Time...

Once upon a time, there lived a great great sage, in the middle of the forest with all the lovely trees around him. He was a great archer. He had a beautiful wife. His wife was a great athlete... pre PT Usha types.

So as it used to happen this sage used to shoot an arrow, and then his wife used to run and get it back. That is why sage had only one arrow, because he did not need another one. He used to shoot and his wife used to run and get it back.

Now as it happened, one day his wife went after the arrow but did not come back for long. Sage was getting very worried and angry. His wife was very beautiful so he was getting suspicious. Finally very late in the evening she arrived. Sage asked her very angrily "Where have you been, it is almost night?", she said "Dont get angry at me, get angry at the sun, because it was so hot that my feet burnt, my face burnt and I got tired and fell down. Only after the sun went down I could do my work".

Not this sage got very angry. He knew that right in the middle of the day sun stopped for a second. And he said "I am going to teach a lesson to Sun, tomorrow at afternoon am going to shoot the sun down."

Having heard of this all the gods got very disturbed, because the sage was the greatest of archers and he was quite capable to shooting the sun down. So they began to worry. Next day sage took bath did his morning pooja and got ready to shoot the sun.

Gods came and requested him not to do this, because that would destroy the earth, but he was very angry "Sun has troubled my wife and am going to teach him a lesson"

That is when one of the Gods came and gave him an umbrella and a pair of slippers and he told the great sage "Instead of shooting down the sun, why dont you gift these to your wife"

That is how umbrella and slippers came in to existence.

I happened to attend one of the seminars of guy called Devdutt Pattaniak . This story was narrated then. Devdutt is a medical doctor by education, marketing manager by presentation and a mythologist by passion (that is what his website says). What I know about this guy is that he is a fantastic story teller. He made a two hour presentation, explaning the relevance of Mythology in todays corporate scenario. I liked the way he put the analogy, it was very new and innovative some of the things were far fetched, but it was full of all this kinds of story, that made it very pleasurable to sit up and listen to him, that too right after heavy lunch.

For example the above story says, "Instead of changing the world change yourself, or rather Adapt to changing world"

Anyways, his website has some nice interesting stories, take a peek. And keep his name in mind, next time he has a presentation somewhere please attend it.